Vancouver Wastewater Facilities Win Two North American Awards
Performance and safety awards received from the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships and USFilter
The Vancouver, Wash., Wastewater Treatment program, operated by USFilter Operating Services, proved its performance and safety excellence by winning the prestigious 2000 Public-Private Partnership Award from the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP). Also, USFilter awarded its first annual North American Opex Award for operational excellence to the facility.
The NCPPP, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, selected the partnership between the City of Vancouver and USFilter in a national competition that matched public-private partnerships of all shapes and sizes against one another. Entries for the awards were judged on originality, quality, implementation and financial performance.
At an internal awards program that recognizes excellence in operations performance, environmental compliance and safety, USFilter named the Vancouver facility the overall top performing municipal project out of its 265 water and wastewater treatment facilities across North America.
"We are proud of the Vancouver project for its remarkable achievements. There is nothing more important we do than provide safe and compliant services to our clients," said Ron Davis, senior vice president and general manager of operations, USFilter Operating Services. "Safety and compliance are an important part of our corporate culture, management and personnel and they speak to our commitment to the well being of our employees as well as our clients."
USFilter and the City of Vancouver have been partners since 1978 when USFilter began operating the city’s wastewater services. Over the last 22 years, the scope of work has increased to include two water reclamation facilities and an industrial pretreatment lagoon with a flow capacity in excess of 40 million gallons per day (MGD) and a labor force of 38.
"Our business partnership with USFilter has proven to be cost-effective and efficient to meet compliance and safety goals," states Tom Boyer, assistant city engineer for Vancouver, when talking about the project’s recent wins.
Operating around the clock and during major site construction, the staff at the facility has achieved a significant 11-plus year milestone of no lost-time accidents and has never had a permit violation. USFilter also has exhibited corporate citizenship by participating in community outreach and educational programs for numerous local organizations and supporting Vancouver’s Water Reclamation Resources Education Center.
The partnership has provided the City of Vancouver with an experienced operations company assuming full responsibility for compliance and environmental issues and a guarantee to meet or exceed all permit requirements. The partnership has also resulted in a fixed contract price for the term of the agreement, significant cost savings, state and national recognition for outstanding safety and environmental performance and the ability to focus on the community’s current concerns rather than on management issues in wastewater facilities.
Vancouver continues to expand and improve its wastewater facilities. During the last seven years, the city has been fully engaged in a $60 million expansion effort, "Westside 2000," that when complete, will have the capacity to handle 21 MGD of wastewater. USFilter and the City of Vancouver also have partnered in a $25 million expansion of the Marine Park Facility that will double its capacity from 8 to 16 MGD and in a $15 million improvement to the collection system to manage sewer flows.
"Our history goes back more than 20 years, so we are especially delighted by these awards," said Paul Proctor, Vancouver project manager for USFilter. "A partnership is based on trust and communication and the fact that the city values our experience and involves us in decision making and review processes is a real testimony to Vancouver’s confidence in our expertise as well as our partnership."
The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships works to raise awareness of and encourage the best in public-private partnerships. Its awards recognize individuals, projects and programs that embody the effectiveness and value of partnerships between governmental agencies and private companies that provide public services or public facilities.